17 May 2011

Bali - Day 3

Today I had my first official surf lesson. My instructor Tobs and I left in the morning and went to a spot called Double Six. It wouldn't make any difference to me yet, but it was kind of cool to be at a real surf spot. We found a good corner that wasn't too crowded and rented some boards to practice. We skipped the theory about the board itself and went straight to paddling and standing up. It wasn't easy, but I had a very satisfying first session. 

Back at home I got so hungry that I built myself the best sandwich I've had in a long time, get this: toasted bread, four oval slices of cucumber, a fried egg topped with a sheet of cheese, a salami disk, mayonnaise, then bread, another fried egg, cheese, salami, ketchup, and toasted bread again. I combined it with a nice cup of black coffee and felt like a gastronomic genius. Compared to yesterday's breakfast it was the Optimus Prime of sandwich goodness.

In the afternoon Tom revealed to us that he proposed to Agnieszka last night. Nobody knew it and I hope it was as big a surprise to her as it was to us. Man, I wonder what it's like to be ready to get married. There's so many factors to consider, so many things to calculate with. And of course you need the right girl, right? The one that changes everything. Giving the promise to share the rest of one's life, whew, that's truly something. Anyhow, congratulations Tom and Agni.

Early in the evening Adi and Irene came to the house to pick us up. Tonight was a full moon, and they invited us to join in on a traditional Balinese ceremony in Adi's home town. After a sunset meal at the Batu Bolong Beach in Kerebokan, we drove through a breathtaking scenery of rice fields and palm trees into the village. We picked up Surbhi, an Indian girl from Australia, and Gabriel from Brazil, and after a nice bumpy ride we arrived at Adi's place. 

We were greeted in a most pleasant manner and Adi introduced us to his adorable family. We drank Balinese coffee and soon prepared for the ceremony. His parents clothed us in traditional robes and it's amazing how they matched the different patterns and colors so fittingly to each of our appearances. After we were dressed appropriately we went for another drive, this time to a small temple close to the beach where the ceremony was being held. 

Before we went up the stairs that led to the temple we had to wait for another ceremony to finish first. It was dark already, but the moon was shining bright like a huge white lampion hanging in the sky, kindly illuminating the evening, the fields and the trees, the stairs and the statues. And us as well. A dozen smiling faces, excited and laughing. The nearby ocean was sending the sound of playful waves, it was a peaceful moment full of joy. 

The ceremony was amazing. It was paying respect. It was giving thanks. And it was appreciating life. It was also very personal and we all left the temple with many different impressions. Water and rice, a tiger and a witch, flowers and prayers, it was super inspiring. Some of us were sleepy from the day, some of us were tired from the surfing, but I'm sure that during the quiet drive back home everybody was thinking positive thoughts.

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